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    (From) HOME
     TWO Poems


               THE VERDICT
               & (the first of)
               TWO LESSONS



       Emily CRITCHLEY



HOME, the latest collection from writer Emily CRITCHLEY (published by prototype) is part experimental confession, part elegiac plea. It is an exploration of the damage done by, in and to many different manifestations of home: with poetry about child abuse, wrongful imprisonment, #MeToo, borders, Brexit, ‘our lost biophilia’ and global warming, among other issues. It is also an attempt to work through the pieces of a broken family, a broken society and a broken planet, with the only tools the poet can summon.

Whatever shards of hope we may pick out of the wreckage must be with the understanding that we are capable of doing more—as individuals and collectively—to write a different future for ourselves and those with whom we share, indeed create, ‘home.’ This collection dreams of a new ‘binding ground’—something stabler beneath all our feet—and hopes that a turning point, a ‘being otherwise,’ may be underway.

Order the collection
direct from the publisher here.









    THE VERDICT

                    For Kaia SAND
                    & Carol MIRAKOVE




The judge is very angry; the woman is very scared.
The judge has lots of power; the woman does not have power.
The judge appears emotional; the woman appears emotional.
The judge is being irrational; the woman is being rational.
The judge is veering off topic; the woman is sticking to the facts.
The judge is aggressive towards his questioners; the woman is polite towards her 
            questioners.
The judge’s story doesn’t stand up to scrutiny; the woman’s story stands up to 
            scrutiny.
The judge’s version has many holes; the woman’s version does not have holes.
The judge doesn’t drink out of control; the judge’s friends recall him drinking out of
            control.
The judge has been in bar fights; the woman has not been in any bar fights.
The judge has never blacked out; have you ever blacked out?
The judge disputes going to those kinds of gatherings; the judge’s diary records him
            going to those kinds of gatherings.
The judge has always viewed women with respect; his yearbook comments are being
            misinterpreted.
The judge’s good name has been compromised for weeks; the woman’s wellbeing has 
            been compromised for decades.
The woman received therapy for the incident; the judge maintains the incident did not
            occur.
Attacks on the judge are politically motivated; attacks on the woman are par for the
            course.
The judge’s job is to judge others; the woman’s job is to understand conflict.
The judge does not like being judged himself; our daily jobs often become us.
The judge has the most conservative voting record on the D.C. Court, in every policy
            area, between 2003 and 2018.
The judge is a very public figure; the woman was ‘terrified’ to go public.
The judge has been subject to vociferous protests; the woman has received death threats
            and had to move homes.
Sixty-five female signatories who have known the judge ‘for more than 35 years’ assert
            that he has always ‘behaved honorably and treated women with respect’; over
            one thousand alumnae of the woman’s former school signed a letter saying
            that her accusation was ‘all too consistent with stories we heard and lived’.
The judge fears his reputation is in tatters; the woman feared he would accidentally
            kill her.
The woman screamed out for help; the judge and his friend laughed.
The woman will never forget this happened; the judge may have convinced himself
            this never happened.
The judge agreed to testify on September 24, 2018; the woman asked that the FBI
            investigate the matter first.
The Senate Judiciary Committee Chair declined her request, instead giving her a 
            deadline of September 21, 2018 to inform the Committee whether she
            intended to testify.
The judge’s children pray for the woman; we don’t know if the woman is a good
            Christian.
The president supported the judge; the president stated that ‘you can do anything to a
            woman’.
The judge got elected to The Supreme Court; the woman disappeared from
            view.





                     FROM

    TWO LESSONS

                    For Denise RILEY




          1.


Learn to love yourself, she said, and fuck them.
Footstep in the hallway, shadows echoing. Take hold
my palm and drag me there. Even the one that thinks so far—
I won’t make it alone, I said. Retracing my steps,
the lost breadcrumbs. What country made you? Love
goes like that, she said, if you let it, tho sometimes
too recalls difference. Some god can tell the rest,
she said, there’s no more why or less. Just have to press on
through intent, each reported sentiment. The air, I said,
might start getting lean. Just have to fall into it, toward
land, like the sea lets it. Formed by your own hands.
And that way is it, I said, heart-felt or flooded?










Emily CRITCHLEY is the author of fourteen poetry collections including alphabet poem: for kids! (Prototype, 2020), Arrangements (Shearsman Books, 2019) and Ten Thousand Things (Boiler House Press, 2018). She is editor of Out of Everywhere 2: Linguistically Innovative Poetry by Women in North America & the UK (Reality Street, 2016) and co-editor of #MeToo: A Poetry Collective (Chicago Review, Summer 2018). CRITCHLEY is a Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of Greenwich. She lives with her daughter in London.








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Hotel is a magazine for new approaches to fiction, non fiction & poetry & features work from established & emerging talent. Hotel provides the space for experimental reflection on literature’s status as art & cultural mediator. The magazine is bi-annual, the online archive is updated periodically.



     

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